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  1. Soccer

Euros - Football: France v Netherlands preview

The Women's European Championship is edging closer to its conclusion with France set to take on the Netherlands in the last quarter-final in Rotherham on Saturday.

Les Bleues reached the knockout stage after topping Group D, while the Dutch finished second to Sweden on goal difference in Group C.

France have never before progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a major tournament, whereas the Netherlands are the defending European champions.

What

France v Netherlands, Euro 2022 quarter-final

Where

New York Stadium, Rotherham

When

20:00, Saturday 23rd July

How to watch

BBC1, BBC iPlayer

OddsFrance Women 7/10, Netherlands Women 15/4 

French fancied to progress to last four

The Netherlands may have the edge when it comes to recent history with France regularly exiting major tournaments at the quarter-final stage, but Les Bleues arguably have the upper hand coming into this contest.

There was not much difference in the way the group stage panned out for these two sides, but France's 5-1 mauling of Italy in their opener cannot be ignored.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto may have been ruled out of the tournament since then, but they are blessed with quality in the final third, with Kadidiatou Diani and Delphine Cascarino exciting to watch, while midfielder Grace Geyoro already has three goals to her name in the tournament.

They look strong from back to front and Corinne Diacre, who has previously been known to clash with key players, is motivating her squad well and is expected to have all 22 players in contention for this game.

The Netherlands, meanwhile, have looked a little creaky at the back, shipping four goals in the group stage and having been blown apart 5-1 by England in a pre-tournament friendly.

There are still reservations about Mark Parsons as head coach and when these sides last met - in the Tournoi de France back in February this year - France came out on top 3-1.

There is the feeling that the Netherlands could well be a waning force, whereas France are on the up and for that reason it is no surprise to see Les Bleues rated at 4/11 to progress, with the Dutch priced at 2/1.

Diani can set the tone in Rotherham

Tournament knockout football is always unpredictable and backing a winner in 90 minutes may not be the way to go in this game.

Instead, French forward Diani could offer some value at 4/1 in the first goalscorer market, in which Melvine Malard, who has slotted in up front in Katoto's place, is 11/2.

France have developed a habit of scoring early at this tournament, with all eight of the goals they netted in the group stage coming in the first half.

And, although the fact they have not yet scored after the break may be of slight concern, it is clear they know how to start on the front foot.

Diani netted 13 goals in 18 league games for her club side Paris Saint-Germain last season and is already off the mark at Euro 2022, having opened the scoring in the match with Belgium.

Miedema return enhances chance of high-scoring game

Parsons and his side have been dealt a blow ahead of their quarter-final clash with France after it was confirmed winger Lieke Martens will miss the remainder of the tournament with a foot injury.

Martens is an influential part of the Dutch attack and was named Player of the Tournament back in Euro 2017, but there is at least some good news for the Netherlands on the injury front.

Arsenal star Vivianne Miedema has missed the last two matches through illness and although her side still managed to net a total of seven goals against Switzerland and Portugal, her return will be a welcome boost for the defending champions.

Women's Super League talent Miedema is a big-game player with an influence over the rest of the team, having even pushed for a tactical tweak which helped them earn a draw with Sweden in the group stage.

Her involvement enhances appeal about backing a high-scoring game with both teams to score making appeal at 8/11.

That bet has clicked in all of the group matches played by both of these sides, as well as in their previous meeting. Over 2.5 total goals is another appealing selection at 4/5, with the French having netted at least twice in four of their last five fixtures.

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